I went downstairs to the payphone to call home. I couldn't be out past my allotted time and I knew this was going to blow it for me. On the other end of the phone I was told to just get home. So I went upstairs, got my stuff, and left. I went the next day and got a job somewhere else.
After high school I worked at the I.R.S. in a very non-glamorous job in the refiles annex. Right up until the morning I went to the hospital to have my first baby. I stayed home with her, mostly. I mean, when money got more pinchy than usual I would deliver pizzas or sell Tupperware, but mostly I was home with her, and then the rest of the kids.
Three or four years ago, now that the kids are all big, I applied for a job as a glorified receptionist with an accounting firm. For the first time in my life I did not get the job. It was humiliating. It still is! But in that interview the guy said to me "Why don't you just babysit?" What? Because I un-apologetically said I did not regret for a minute the choice I made to stay home with my kids? So I'm not 'good enough' to enter your work force since stayed home raising my kids and giving up luxuries which other people don't consider luxuries?
We all decide. I know people who say they couldn't take it if they had to stay home with their kids. They decide to work because it helps them stay sane, they say. I have a difficult time trusting people and I could have never been sane leaving my kids with strangers. There's no car on the road which could have justified that in my mind. Because all day, every day, I would have been wondering what was happening with my kids. Were they happy? Sad? Playing? Crying? Napping? Eating like they should? And when my kids were little I did a lot of babysitting for people who did want to work, so hopefully they could feel comfortable about their own kids while they were away.
But here I am, with great big kids, no grandchildren yet. So what am I supposed to do at this stage of life? Hobbies? I like to paint stuff (not walls) and I do, but there's only so much of that I want to do. I do not have enough energy to do what I want to do on any given day, so lots of things need to be done around my house. Even if I had energy, my husband works from home. Babysitting is out, even if I wanted to do it.
What do you do when you're done raising kids but there's nothing new on the horizon? Should I sit around and turn into one of those meddling mothers who is always looking for a husband for her daughter and a wife for her sons and complain about not having grandchildren yet? Do I start reading romance novels? Do I garden? None of these things seem like something I want to do. Who has been here? Who knows how to point me in the right direction? Surely I can not be the only one. But it sure feels like it.